Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Second Grade Style: Valentine's Cards

Second Grade Style: Valentine's Cards: Valentine's Day is just around the corner. My kids are excited and so am I. I have lots of fun learning activities planned!

Click on the link above to view this blog post for some Valentine's writing ideas.
I love the anchor chart she used to teach about parts of a letter.  I also love her blog design.  ;)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Of Thee I Sing by Barack Obama

Our school does a monthly program where we all get a copy of a new book. They're often books ordered from Scholastic books. Each teacher gets a copy. Often times the books are assigned to K-2 and 3-5. Sometimes the entire school will get the same text. The task is to read the book with your class, and then do some sort of follow-up activity or response. The book for the month of February is called Of Thee I Sing by Barack Obama. It's written from President Obama to his daughters. It talks about the major contributions of historical figures in America's history.

I created a Prezi with short videos about each of the historical figures mentioned in the book. is a free web 2.0 tool that offers an alternative to Power Point or a typical slide show style of presentation. Get creative!

Prezi creating is a little challenging for my first graders, but a few may be able to use it, or to at least gather information from Prezi's. There are many Prezi's already made by other users that you can also use with your class.

Click HERE to find a narrative writing lesson that uses Of Thee I Sing as the mentor text.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Be whooooo you are.

I'm excited about my new bulletin board! And I'm loving the blogger app so I can post from my phone!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Classroom Freebies: Non-fiction Text Features Freebie!

Classroom Freebies: Non-fiction Text Features Freebie!: Happy Saturday! I just added a lengthy post about guided reading in my classroom along with a free set of vocabulary cards for non-fiction ...

These are perfect for the polar bear research unit we are doing in first grade for the next 2 weeks.

Check out the polar bear research page of my wiki for many resources:

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Story Parts SMART Notebook FREEBIE

We've been working on writing stories that contain a clear beginning, middle, and end. I love using the analogy of an Oreo cookie to help my firsties understand that you cannot just stop telling events to end your story.

Visit my store on TeachersPayTeachers to download the SMART notebook file I made as a visual for my mini-lesson.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

"When the team is stronger..." -Ron Clark

I've been reading the book, The End of Molasses Classes by Ron Clark. It's fantastic!

This is my favorite quote from the book...

“…I work with people who are selfless, compassionate, and dedicated to our mission of uplifting children. All staffs should approach their jobs with determination that being a teacher isn’t a job; it’s a call to serve a higher purpose, to give of ourselves until we can give no more, and to make the happiness and well-being of our children our first priority. And the more you offer help to others, the more you will find them coming to your aid as well. WHEN YOU LEND A HAND, YOU MAKE THE TEAM STRONGER, AND WHEN THE TEAM IS STRONGER, THE CHILDREN ARE THE ONES WHO TRULY BENEFIT.” -Ron Clark

Same quote, different background...

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Technology Tailgate: CREATE Apps

Technology Tailgate: CREATE Apps: There are MANY story & book creator apps that students can use to meet standards.

This is a great list... some are free... some are not.  But many are new to me!

Liebster Award

Thanks to Shibahn at and Ms. B at Http:// AND to Ms. Cranfill at for nominating me for a Liebster Award. I guess the third time is the charm. ;) I am finally sitting down to answer the Liebster Award questions, and to nominate 11 other teachers for their blogs.

Here are the details:
The Leibster Award is given by bloggers to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. It is to show new bloggers that they are appreciated and to help spread the word about new blogs.

The rules:
*You must post 11 random things about yourself.
*Answer the questions that the nominator set for you.
*Create 11 questions for the people you nominate.
*Choose 11 blogs you love {with less than 200 followers} and link them in your post. *No tag back {but please leave me a comment on this post with the URL to your Leibster post so I can learn more about you!}

11 Random Things About Me
1. I have a younger sister who lives in Tennessee.
2. My parents have a sailboat.
3. My son is the love of my life! He's turning 5 this month!
4. I'm celebrating my 2nd annual 29th birthday this month.
5. I am obsessed with my job.
6. I love technology! I'm especially in love with my class wiki!
7. I'm also addicted to Pinterest.
8. I make to-do lists for everything. I feel so accomplished when I can cross something off my list. (Stole this from Ms. C, but it's completely true for me!)
9. My husband and I are best friends.
10. I love shopping! I enjoy a good day of hitting the thrift stores.
11. I collect jewelry. ;)

Here are the questions I was asked by the first nomination!

1. What is your favorite thing about teaching?
Planning the lessons and meeting the needs of all my students.
2. What is your least favorite thing about teaching?
Filling out report cards!
3. What advice would you give to a first year teacher?
Take it one day at a time, and one step at a time. Start with the most important things to master first, and go from there.
4. What do you find to be the hardest part about blogging?
Finding the time to share all my ideas! ;)
5. What is your favorite teaching blog?
Any teaching blogs with freebies and technology ideas that are relevant to first grade. 6. Since I am getting into the Christmas spirit, what is your favorite Christmas movie? Hands down, It's a Wonderful Life!
7. What is your favorite Christmas tradition?
Christmas Eve with my parents at my house. We let the kids open some of their presents.
8. How do you celebrate the holiday season in your classroom?
We read Gingerbread Man books, and made our own Gingerbread Man ornaments! We also have a party, eat yummy snacks, listening to Christmas music, and play a game.
9. What is the best purchase you have made on TpT?
Anything FREE!!!! ;)
10. If you had to be something other than a teacher, what would you be?
I cannot imagine anything outside of the education field. I'd like being an LMS or a curriculum specialist. Maybe even curriculum writing. If I had to go outside the educational field, I'd work for a children's advocacy center where I could help prevent child abuse.
11. What is your favorite children's book?
Dr. Seuss books have a special place in my heart. ;)

Here are the questions that I'm asking the bloggers I nominate! (Some are borrowed from others.) ;)

1} If your life had a theme song, what would it be?
2} What's your favorite teaching tool?
3} Who was your favorite teacher?
4} What has been the best thing to happen in your years as a teacher?
5} What do you collect?
6} What was the last book you read for you?
7} PC or Mac?
8} Cake or Brownies?
9} Who is your favorite children's book author?
10} What food makes your mouth water just by saying it's name?
11} What are your winter plans for your class?

Here are the blogs I am nominating!

Educating to the Core

Teacher Talk Blog

Seriously... Grab this button

Glitter and Glue

The First Grade Reader

Friday, January 4, 2013

My 35 Favorite Free Apps for Teaching |

My 35 Favorite Free Apps for Teaching |

Great list!
Don't forget Edmodo, Blurb, BrainPOP, Book Creator, Educreations, Fotobabble, Futaba,  Scan (for reading QR codes), PBS Kids, Screen Chomp, Chicktionary, Little Speller, Cimo Spelling, Sock Puppets, Smilebox Collage, Symbaloo, Story Creator, StoryBot, and VoiceThread.
There are just so many out there!!!